CFInfo: October 2014

CFinfo provides quick updates on initiatives and grants, reminds you of upcoming events as well as news about philanthropy at its best in the region.  We hope you find this issue informative and welcome any feedback you would like to share with us.

West Springfield Couple Helps Preserve Wildlife

Dietrich and Julie Schlobohm first became involved with the Community Foundation in the mid-1990s when the Springfield Naturalists Club, of which Dietrich was a board member, received a sizable bequest, with no mechanism in place to manage such a large gift. The nonprofit worked with the Community Foundation to set up an agency fund that has given out grants in support of local environmental preservation for more than a decade.

After seeing firsthand the benefits of having a charitable fund at the Foundation, Dietrich and Julie recently decided to start their own donor advised fund at the Foundation. Their fund was established specifically to support Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Says Dietrich, “Julie and I have been enjoying the outdoors together for 45 years. We are now in a position to preserve and nurture this place. Land is a finite resource and we feel it is important to contribute to the preservation of natural, open space.”

The fund offers the Schlobohms the flexibility to give what they want, when they want, without having to attend to the administrative details. They are pleased to know that they can make a difference for the local environment they love, both in their lifetimes and beyond.


Dietrich and Julie Schlobohm at home in West Springfield


A Foundation for Everyone – Should you Consider a Donor Advised Fund?
You may have heard about donor advised funds, but may not know when it is the best time to consider starting one at your local Community Foundation.  Ask yourself a few questions to see if starting an advised fund is right for you:

  • Do you have a plan for how best to increase the impact of your giving to the causes you care most about?
  • Could you benefit from insights and advice on local philanthropic projects that might interest you?
  • Do you have plans to rebalance your portfolio and/or wish to use special assets for gifting this year?

As a donor advised fundholder, you determine which nonprofits you’d like to support, how much you’d like to give, and when you’d like to give it.  Donor advised funds allow you to seek a tax deduction when you make a donation.  CFWM’s Investment Committee oversees the investment of your fund and investment gains are tax-free, growing your philanthropic dollars for the future and further enhancing the impact of your gift. Our Philanthropic Services team can connect you with vetted projects and charities locally, and help you understand the best tax benefits of your giving. If you wish to make grants to charities beyond the Pioneer Valley, your fund allows you to do so, and to name a successor or put plans in place that will direct your giving beyond your lifetime.

Learn more here: or call Kristin Leutz, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, or Jenny Papageorge, Director of Development at 413-732-2858.


Just Two Short Months to December 10, 2014!

With about six weeks left for nonprofits to register, the goal of more than 400 Pioneer Valley nonprofit participants in Valley Gives 2014 is within reach. More than 300 organizations are now either participating in, or signing up for, training that will help them make the most of this exciting day.

Training sessions led by Valley Gives Marketing Manager, Michael Kusek and Program Manager, Tracy Hightower gave participating nonprofits new give day strategies. Training to build nonprofit fundraising capacity with Marc A. Pitman concluded, and there are still more opportunities for participants to get the tools they need to have a successful Valley Gives Day. On the agenda for October and November are a Storytelling live training with Deb Askanase, a Social Media Webinar with Heather Mansfield and Stewardship Webinar with Kivi Leroux Miller. For more information visit the Valley Gives Blog.

In an effort to encourage early registration of nonprofits, the Community Foundation offered “early bird” prizes, chosen at random among nonprofits who completed the registration process by September 1VGtraining2014-smst. The three lucky winners of the $500 prizes were Lupa Zoo, Cancer Connection, and the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. There are more prizes and surprises on tap, and there is still time to register before the final deadline of November 14th, so don’t delay – visit

Tracy Hightower Leads a Nonprofit Training in Springfield

Hampden Bank: A Good Neighbor for Over 160 Years
Hampden Bank first opened in downtown Springfield in 1852 and has been a committed member of the western Massachusetts community ever since. They currently operate 10 branches and a network of ATMs throughout the Greater Springfield region. The decision to support Valley Gives and become a Business Partner in Philanthropy was an easy one, according to President and CEO Glenn Welch, given the bank’s alignment with the Community Foundation’s charitable community focus.

“Our roots in western Massachusetts are strong and deep,” says Glenn Welch. “We definitely want to encourage all local businesses to give back to the community and we believe that every business has a responsibility to support nonprofits and organizations that help their neighbors build a strong region.”

Hampden Bank was an early supporter of Valley Gives and also contributes to our region through the Hampden Bank Charitable Foundation.

As Welch says, “As a local, community bank, we pride ourselves on reinvesting in the community and ‘brightening the days’ of our neighbors within western Massachusetts.”


Hampden Bank President Glenn Welch with Community Foundation President Katie Allan Zobel

If you have a business and would like to become involved in the Business Leaders program, please contact Jenny Papageorge at 413-732-2858.



Register Today!

The Community Foundation’s annual meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 from 5pm to 7pm at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Register here, if you haven’t already. We promise a fun and informative night! We look forward to seeing you there!


An Early Investment With Lasting Impacts
In 2000 the Community Foundation awarded a grant to the Collaborative for Educational Services for $64,000, with another $40,000 in grants awarded in subsequent years. The grants were part of the Foundation’s Proactive Initiative on Children and Youth, and was in support of a new initiative at the Collaborative, the Strategic Planning Initiative for Families and Youth, or SPIFFY, which brings together a coalition of partners to identify and address the needs of families and youth, particularly in the areas of health and education.

Today the coalition is stronger than ever, having received significant federal, state, and private investment over the years to support and expand the reach of the initiative. The coalition is comprised of over 80 community partners that are making a difference for Hampshire County families.

Among the ongoing work of SPIFFY is a bi-annual survey which provides much needed data to school districts on substance abuse and other anti-social behaviors, along with the risk and protective factors. The county-level data can be found here: SPIFFY also offers technical assistance, training, aspiffy-smnd support for community organizations, and brings the community together in a number of ways to contribute to a thriving community.


SPIFFY Coalition partner, Karen Walsh Pio in front of a youth-designed mural in South Hadley

Third Sector New England Asks Nonprofit Executives to Give Feedback

If you are a nonprofit executive or board member, Leadership New England wants to know what you think. Third Sector New England has recently launched Leadership New England, a survey of nonprofit executive leadership in our region.

In response to a significant information gap on our region’s nonprofit sector, Leadership New England was created to investigate current challenges, see what is on the horizon, and what is needed to support the sector to move forward.

The executive director survey takes about 40 minutes to complete and the board survey about 20 minutes. The survey is open now through November 26th. Please share your experience and knowledge to help our region. You can take the survey here:


Nominate a Professional Advisor by November 3rd
The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, in partnership with the Estate Planning Council of Hampden County, is sponsoring the second award of 2014 to recognize the Pioneer Valley Distinguished Advisor in Philanthropy.

This award honors a professional advisor, living or deceased, for outstanding service in philanthropy, either through their advisory work helping clients with charitable plans, oras volunteer helpingnonprofits in Hampden, Hampshire, and/or Franklin County.

The Community Foundation will present the honoree with a $1,000 grant to recommend to the charity of their choice. Nominations are due by Monday, November 3, 2014.

Nominations can be made by anyone in the public, but must include a completed nomination form and letter of support from at least one public charity in Hampden, Hampshire, or Franklin County.   Email completed forms to: Kristin Leutz, Vice President of Philanthropic Services.

Pioneer Valley Distinguished Advisor in Philanthropy nomination criteria can be found here. All nominations will be evaluated by an objective committee of community volunteers, the Community Foundation’s Philanthropic Services Committee. The Award will be publicly presented to the recipient by a representative of the Community Foundation at the November 18, 2014 meeting of the Estate Planning Council of Hampden County.


What Would you like your Legacy to Be?
The Foundation’s Legacy Society is comprised of generous families and individuals who have made the decision to have a named fund at the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of their estate plans. There are currently 81 members of the Legacy Society. These donors have made any of the following arrangements:

  • Bequest provision in a will
  • Charitable remainder trust
  • Charitable lead trust
  • Charitable gift annuity
  • Designation as beneficiary of qualified retirement plan assets
  • Gift of life insurance policy

If you have made similar arrangements and would like to be recognized as a member of the Legacy Society, or would like to learn more, please contact our Philanthropic Services team.

Kristin Leutz, VP Philanthropic Services

Jenny Papageorge, Director of Development


Annual Report for FY2014
Check out the Community Foundation’s annual report online here, if you haven’t already. The book provides a sampling of some of the great work that the Foundation had the privilege of being a part of this past fiscal year.



Thank you for your interest in the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. If you would like to learn more please join our mailing list.